blue flamingos

Four times John almost left Atlantis for good and one time he did

Fandom: SGA

Category/Rated: Gen/PG

Year/Length: 2011/493 words

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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1.

At the end of their first year, when it seemed like they weren't going to let him go back. He was so pleased, so proud when they promoted him and made him official military commander for the city, but there was also a tiny part of him that was - disappointed? Maybe. Because he'd started to plan, what came next, and maybe it wasn't a great plan, but it was his, for the first time since he decided to join the Air Force, it was his decision, not someone else's.

2.

After the thing with the Genii and the Wraith, during the weeks when he woke up gasping, sure he was dead, when he couldn't face anyone, because he was sure they'd seen him being tortured, that they'd watched it happen and the part of him that wanted to hide, wanted to disappear, was fighting every day with the part of him that was duty and home and they came for me, they tried to save me.

3.

When he woke up from stasis, 48,000 years in the future and had to go back and save the world, change things. And he wanted - just for a second, still foggy with stasis dreams and a floating sense of peace, to stay there, to go back into the stasis pod and just drift forever.

4.

The time he got stabbed by the hive ship tentacle monster. Becuase he was so tired, all the time, and he couldn't sleep it off, he couldn't blame it on the drugs, and he wanted to say to hell with this and hand over the city to Lorne, except he couldn't, because Lorne was nearly turned into a tentacle monster and had a broken leg and wasn't in charge. John was.

And one time he did...

5.

When the IOA, after six months of debating, turned around and said that Atlantis could go back to Pegasus. No-one asked if John wanted to go, just assumed, and he watched the lists of names grow and the number of days shrink and tried to ignore the way he felt whenever he thought about sitting in the chair, flying them back and taking up the fight all over again.

It was Woolsey who said, in a command staff meeting, "Colonel Sheppard, you'll take the first stint in the chair?" and John, not even knowing he'd been about to say it, said, "No." And kept saying no, until the question was, "Are you staying on Earth?" and he could finally say, "Yes."


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